Excessive one time plastic use

Old May 20, 19, 4:20 am
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Excessive one time plastic use

Just stayed in Hampton at Wichita Airport, Kansas.

Breakfast only had plastic throw away cutlery. Laziness, wasteful and totally out of touch. Is this the norm stateside?
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Old May 20, 19, 4:32 am
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Originally Posted by kingcole974 View Post
Just stayed in Hampton at Wichita Airport, Kansas.

Breakfast only had plastic throw away cutlery. Laziness, wasteful and totally out of touch. Is this the norm stateside?
At a Comfort Inn or Super 8 perhaps. At a Hilton, SPMarriott or any proper hotel?! Heck no! Not only is it unsustainable but it's also an awful way to eat a meal. Those utensils are so flimsy and break so easily that they really make eating a chore, something not normally associated with an enjoyable activity like consuming carbs

-James
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Old May 20, 19, 5:25 am
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Calm down. Good grief.

A commercial dishwasher costs $20k to $30k. Not to mention the detergent and water consumption. Oh yeah, that detergent gets discharged back to the water utility to remove from the effluent. Ongoing preventive and reactive maintenance are a significant expense, in addition to hiring someone to bus tables and wash dishes.

Single use plastic-ware is the norm in lower-end properties like Hamptons. Hamptons are gracious enough to not even wrap the plastic-ware, think of all the refuse they’re saving!

I stayed at a brand-independent Hilton property who’s sole focus during construction and operation was “minimizing impact”. Gravel parking lot, low flow shower heads, minimal exterior lighting, etc. Even here, room service came with plastic-ware.
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Old May 20, 19, 6:03 am
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Clearly Hilton are to be applauded for not wrapping a plastic fork in plastic.

Bravo!
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Old May 20, 19, 6:37 am
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Originally Posted by aww3583 View Post
Calm down. Good grief.

A commercial dishwasher costs $20k to $30k. Not to mention the detergent and water consumption. Oh yeah, that detergent gets discharged back to the water utility to remove from the effluent. Ongoing preventive and reactive maintenance are a significant expense, in addition to hiring someone to bus tables and wash dishes.

Single use plastic-ware is the norm in lower-end properties like Hamptons. Hamptons are gracious enough to not even wrap the plastic-ware, think of all the refuse they’re saving!

I stayed at a brand-independent Hilton property who’s sole focus during construction and operation was “minimizing impact”. Gravel parking lot, low flow shower heads, minimal exterior lighting, etc. Even here, room service came with plastic-ware.
You can get a commercial dishwasher that can handle one breakfast service a day for less than $5k.

The mountain of garbage generated by Hampton's laziness is a relic of the past. Consumers are more aware these days. I can't see them continuing this wasteful path much longer.
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Old May 20, 19, 6:40 am
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Hampton has always been single-use in most properties in the States, unfortunately. As noted, this is almost certainly due to economic factors as it prevents Hampton properties from needing a full commercial kitchen (including dishwashing capabilities) as part of the build-out. If the properties were willing to contract to do commercial composting then this would open up some good compromise solutions (bio-plastic, bamboo, etc.).
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Old May 20, 19, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Hampton has always been single-use in most properties in the States, unfortunately. As noted, this is almost certainly due to economic factors as it prevents Hampton properties from needing a full commercial kitchen (including dishwashing capabilities) as part of the build-out. If the properties were willing to contract to do commercial composting then this would open up some good compromise solutions (bio-plastic, bamboo, etc.).
Hampton, Fairfield, Holiday In Express, and every other similar level hotel I have ever stayed at also has plastic single use utensils. So, yes. To answer the OP's question, it is absolutely the norm.
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Old May 20, 19, 7:57 am
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The question of sustainability is an interesting one. I suspect most people on this forum's preconceptions of what is sustainable is fundamentally wrong. For instance, the use (and ideally reuse) of plastic bags is more environmentally friendly than using paper bags or even reusable totes. For instance, an organic cotton bag would need to be used 20,000 times before it is better for the environment than plastic bags [Source]. In addition, the use and consumption of plastic products is arguably better for the environment than the alternative: using those petrochemicals to fire up our cars and natural gas powered furnaces and electric plants!

To answer OPs question, yes the use of recyclable service items is a thin in the Americas be it with airlines or hotels. I recall coming back to Canada during XMAS and ordering a sandwich from Starbucks. When I requested a knife and a fork to cut my sandwich they gave me plastic ones. Needless to say, I went through 2 or 3 of them to enjoy the sandwich. Again, I just absolutely hate using the temporary cutlery be it on airplanes, in lounges or at hotels. Every time I cut a waffle I cut through the darn plate.

I suspect most, if not all hotels have some sort of dishwasher. At the very least, they'll need to clean service items from the room such as mugs and glasses. Even if the rooms don't have service items, the bar and on-site restaurant most likely will! Also, not all dishwashers cost tens of thousands of dollars to install, service and use. A quick gander at the Home Depot shows a qwality dishwasher can be had for < $400.

Safe Travels,

James

Safe Travels,

James
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Old May 20, 19, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by Voodoo Daddy View Post
Hampton, Fairfield, Holiday In Express, and every other similar level hotel I have ever stayed at also has plastic single use utensils. So, yes. To answer the OP's question, it is absolutely the norm.
In the US.

In Germany, Hamptons use real plates, read glasses, real coffee mugs, and real utensils.

I suspect it comes down to the economics of waste disposal vs staff and equipment to clean. And laws. And societal norms.
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Old May 20, 19, 10:25 am
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I laugh when I read westerners debating the pros and cons of cutlery vs the environment. The rest of the world uses their hands or wooden chopsticks which have negligible environmental effects.

Use your brain and create a sandwich from the options provided. You can always fit your breakfast between two slices of toast!!
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Old May 20, 19, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
The question of sustainability is an interesting one. I suspect most people on this forum's preconceptions of what is sustainable is fundamentally wrong. For instance, the use (and ideally reuse) of plastic bags is more environmentally friendly than using paper bags or even reusable totes. For instance, an organic cotton bag would need to be used 20,000 times before it is better for the environment than plastic bags
What is your metric for "sustainability"? Certainly there are many. The quoted article only considers climate change impacts in the form of CO2 emissions. Issues with that:

1) Neglects other metrics of significance, such as economic loss due to littering, and impacts on wildlife populations (really the key driver of the plastic issue)
2) Likely assumes current-state economies of scale in production (cloth bags being more of a niche item than plastic; were they scaled up, the normalized impact would likely be lower)
3) Highly dependent upon generation mix of electricity used to produce
4) May or may not consider end-of-life impacts and salvage value/reuse

Amongst others.

The point just being that discussion of impact is not open-and-shut and there is no singular agreed-upon metric. Calculating life-cycle impact is something that the academic and policy communities have been debating for decades. Whether or not someone's perception of something is "fundamentally wrong" cannot be easily discerned, as there is no hard-and-fast basis upon which to make that determination.

The valid point you absolutely have is that a holistic point of view is necessary. If an item is not used and disposed of in the designed manner (or optimal manner) then there absolutely can be unintended outcomes which negate any engineered benefits.
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Old May 24, 19, 3:37 am
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Am I the only one who finds a debate over the environmental impact of plastic ware hysterical on a website routed in airplane mileage runs? For most on this site that fork is minuscule in the preventable impact waste #pickyourbattles
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Old May 24, 19, 6:12 am
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Originally Posted by Lehava View Post
Am I the only one who finds a debate over the environmental impact of plastic ware hysterical on a website routed in airplane mileage runs? For most on this site that fork is minuscule in the preventable impact waste #pickyourbattles
I would not describe call the mountain of trash generated daily at Hampton inns across the US as "minuscule".

Outside of carbon offsets we are a long way from a solution for planes but a solution to the Hampton inn trash mountain is readily available and already in use across the globe.
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Old May 24, 19, 7:38 am
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
The question of sustainability is an interesting one. I suspect most people on this forum's preconceptions of what is sustainable is fundamentally wrong. For instance, the use (and ideally reuse) of plastic bags is more environmentally friendly than using paper bags or even reusable totes. For instance, an organic cotton bag would need to be used 20,000 times before it is better for the environment than plastic bags [[url=https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2019/04/09/711181385/are-plastic-bag-bans-garbage?t=1558359917290]Source]. In addition, the use and consumption of plastic products is arguably better for the environment than the alternative: using those petrochemicals to fire up our cars and natural gas powered furnaces and electric plants!

To answer OPs question, yes the use of recyclable service items is a thin in the Americas be it with airlines or hotels. I recall coming back to Canada during XMAS and ordering a sandwich from Starbucks. When I requested a knife and a fork to cut my sandwich they gave me plastic ones. Needless to say, I went through 2 or 3 of them to enjoy the sandwich. Again, I just absolutely hate using the temporary cutlery be it on airplanes, in lounges or at hotels. Every time I cut a waffle I cut through the darn plate.

I suspect most, if not all hotels have some sort of dishwasher. At the very least, they'll need to clean service items from the room such as mugs and glasses. Even if the rooms don't have service items, the bar and on-site restaurant most likely will! Also, not all dishwashers cost tens of thousands of dollars to install, service and use. A quick gander at the Home Depot shows a qwality dishwasher can be had for < $400.

Safe Travels,

James

Safe Travels,

James
Hamptons, Holiday Inn Expresses and Fairfield Inns do not have bars or on-site restaurants.
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Old May 24, 19, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by ksucats View Post
Hamptons, Holiday Inn Expresses and Fairfield Inns do not have bars or on-site restaurants.
Not to mention a dishwasher from Home Depot would never be approved by the Health Dept. It's not just a simple plug and play type deal. Going from throw away items to real silverware and plates is a very expensive change. Now you need to store said items, which are heavy and take up way more space than paper/plastic. But now you need a commercial dishwasher, not some cheapo at the local store. It goes one step further, in most locations, you will need to add a commercial type 2 hood, ductwork, and fan to deal with the heat and humidity generated by the dishwasher. Now you are exhausting lets say 500 CFM, which now needs to come from somewhere, and by code that will have to be accounted for. Now you are increasing the size of other equipment. Unless you choose to go with a undercounter dishwasher using chemicals instead of very high heat to sanitize, in which case the chemicals aren't cheap and aren't exactly environmentally friendly.

If the OP or anyone else feels strongly, simply stay at hotels that line up with your beliefs, rather than demand some hotels conform to your feelings. Problem solved.
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